Coronavirus crisis: Face coverings mandatory in Fremont, coming soon in Sonoma, Marin counties

FREMONT, Calif. (KGO) -- On Thursday, an executive order was given in Fremont to require people to cover their face in public or face a $100 fine.

A similar requirement is going into place Friday in Sonoma County and next Wednesday in Marin County.

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Fremont Mayor Lily Mei issued the order for her city on Thursday, stating, "The City of Fremont issued an executive order where we are asking folks to wearing face coverings."

If you don't abide you could get a citation for $100.

"I think it's an overreach on the part of the government," says Jim Hall of Fremont.

He says wearing a face mask actually endangers his health.

"In my case I tried the mask and I have a hard time breathing in it and furthermore, it fogs up my glasses and I think I would rather be able to see and breath," he said.

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Fremont Mayor Lily Mei says they aren't looking to start citing people right away for not wearing a face covering. She says it's about educating and only enforcing if they have to as they go forward.

However, some people say getting a proper mask is very hard.

"They don't sell it at the store. Online they said it's going to take 2-3 weeks to get in the mail," says Ricardo Mora.

Mayor Mei says she is hopeful people won't try to buy N95 masks but instead use bandannas, scarves, and shirts to cover their faces. Many are on board.

"Doesn't matter if it is annoying or not. You don't want a death sentence," said one father outside a Fremont Safeway location.

And to those who are still refusing to wear masks, "Selfish I think that's selfish! It's for everybody's own good to protect their own health and some people are not really taking it very serious."

The policy involves wearing a face covering in public. Stores like Safeway aren't required to enact the policy, but if they do, they must warn people with a notice near the entrance.

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